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8 Nov, 11 tweets, 4 min read
Compared with other ancient civilizations, Egyptian law, has left little evidence of its institutions. Law was believed to have been given to mankind by the gods on the First Occasion (moment of creation), and the gods were responsible for establishing and perpetuating the law.
For the ancient Egyptians, law was personified in the goddess Ma’at. She represented truth, righteousness, justice and maintained the correct balance and order of the universe. The king or pharaoh, as chief official of the judiciary, was a priest of Ma'at.
Since there was no formal law code, cases were decided on precedent. The laws were generally humane, more than those of other societies. Men and women of all classes were treated equally, and there was great emphasis on protection of the family within the society.
There were two types of court: the local courts included local dignitaries under a chairman and they dealt with most cases; the High Court sat at the capital under pharaoh and his vizier and tried serious cases, particularly those entailing capital punishment.
During the middle and new kingdom the statue of a god became the judge and its decision was obtained through ceremonies performed in front of the image. The system was clearly open corruption and abuse. Punishments were severe and were intended to deter future offenses.
Misdemeanors could be punished with 10 strokes, prison and forced labor in the mines and quarries. The death penalty had several options. Some criminals were left to be eaten by crocodiles, and as a special favor or indication of high status, some were allowed to commit suicide.
Children who killed their parents got pieces of their flesh cut out with reeds before they were placed on a bed of thorns and burnt alive. However, parents who killed their children weren’t put to death, but were instead forced to hold the dead child's body for 3 days and nights.
Although the law makers were men, the system safeguarded the financial position of women and children to protect the family. Men and women could divorce; it was easier for a man to divorce his wife, but he had to pay her compensation and she kept the property brought to marriage.
Punishments included the emasculation of a man who raped a freeborn woman, if a man committed adultery with a woman's consent he received 1,000 blows, but she suffered amputation of her nose, divorced or was burned to death.
Deserters were spared death, but suffered great disgrace this was worse than death, the removal of tongues of who released military secrets. But, a rehabilitated person could be useful again to society. At times a whole family was punished for the actions of one member.
Material evidencing the Egyptian legal system includes tomb inscriptions, stelae and papyri providing the earliest legal transactions, dated to the Old Kingdom, and the trials of the Ramesside period. Egyptian law ranks with Sumerian,as the world's oldest surviving legal system.

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More from @surimana16

28 Oct
Ancient Egyptian’s two most common pigments seen on papyri are black and red. The black ink was mostly used for writing hieroglyphs or hieratic text, this ink was made by burning wood or oil, and then pulverizing the material before mixing it with water.
To avoid the particles from clumping together, the powder was mixed with a binder, probably a plant gum from the Acacia tree family. Besides keeping the carbon particles suspended in the water solution, the gum binder helped to keep the ink adhered to the papyrus surface.
This ink was stable, didn’t fade or deteriorate the papyrus. The red color on the papyrus, derived from the earth pigment iron oxide. Like most pigments used in ancient Egypt it was made from minerals, rather than from organic or living materials.
Read 7 tweets
26 Oct
Ma’at was the goddes of truth, balance, cosmic order, justice and harmony. She was depicted with vulture wings, the ostrich feather of truth in her headdress and carrying the Ankh, the key of life. Ma’at’s worship can be traced to the Old Kingdom ca. 3200 BCE.
According to the Papyrus of Ani (The Book of Coming Forth or Book of the Dead) everyone would be judged before Ma’at to determine whether they were good and able to move on to the afterlife. The feather was weighed against the heart while they stated the 42 Negative Confessions.
Ma’at 42 Negative Confessions translated by E. A. Wallis Budge: 1 I have not committed sin. 2 I have not committed robbery with violence. 3 I have not stolen. 4 I have not slain men or women. 5 I have not stolen food. 6 I have not swindled offerings. 7 I have not stolen from God.
Read 9 tweets
14 Oct
For the Ancient Egyptians, color was an important part of their life, it symbolized the nature of the beings they depicted. The Egyptian word for color, IWN (iwen) also translates as character, disposition and nature. Thus, color was intimately linked to the essence of being.
The Egyptian artist had 6 main colors in the palette: green, red, blue, yellow, white and black. They were usually obtained from mineral compounds, and prepared with a mixture of pigments acquired by grinding colored earth with the addition of water, rubber latex and egg’s white.
The mineral compounds used have allowed some of the colors to remain vibrant and beautiful for thousands of years. Colors weren’t used randomly, they conveyed meaning. Truly, wasn’t just the value or scarcity of the materials that mattered, but their symbolic meaning.
Read 10 tweets
12 Sep
There isn’t enough information about human sacrifice in ancient Egypt, though there is some evidence that it could have been practiced in the Nile Valley during the 1st Dynasty and possibly the Predynastic period.
J. Kinnaer posits there were two types of human sacrifice possibly practiced in early ancient Egypt: the killing of human beings as offerings to the gods regularly, or on special occasions and the retainer sacrifice, the killing of servants who were buried with their master.
One form of human sacrifices to the gods may have been the slaying of criminals and prisoners of war. It was a custom, in Predynastic times, to slay slaves at the graves of kings and nobles in order that the souls of the slaughtered might protect them and keep away evil spirits.
Read 7 tweets
5 Aug
Ancient Egypt’s crowns, the Deshret crown, red crown worn by the ruler of Lower Egypt. Probably was made of fabric or leather with a copper wire ending in a spiral. In Egyptian mythology, the Deshret was first given to Horus by Geb to symbolize his rule over Lower Egypt.
The Hedjet crown, White crown was associated with Upper Egypt and confirmed the rule of the king over southern Egypt.
This Crown is depicted on one side of the Narmer Palette, it was worn by gods with a connection to upper Egypt, such as Nekhbet the vulture goddess and Horus.
The Pschent, Double Crown, known as Sekhemti,Two Powerful Ones,symbolized the king’s rule of Upper and Lower Egypt.The Pschent is often embelished with the cobra and the vulture (Wadjet and Nekhbet). The crowns were worn seperately in earlier periods until the 19th Dynasty.
Read 7 tweets
8 Jun
The Benben stone is an architectural name given to the tip of an obelisk or the capstone placed on top of a pyramid. This architectural feature is known also as a pyramidion. Also the Benben stone is a symbol of the Phoenix and the cycle of the seasons.
Egyptian mythology has many stories of the creation, one says the god Atum, brought the universe into being. In the beginning, there was nothing but darkness and chaos. It was out of the dark waters that the primordial hill, known as the Benben stone arose with Atum on top of it.
In some versions of the myth, Atum masturbated, creating Shu and Tefnut. In other versions of the story, they were created by Atum’s copulation with his own shadow. Shu and Tefnut left Atum on the Benben stone, and went away to create the rest of the world.
Read 4 tweets

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